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Cougars, Tigers open playoffs at home Friday

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 8, 2001
Both Newton County and Newton will host first-round playoff games Friday night in action involving North Area teams.
Playoff tickets for all MHSAA first-round games are $7 at the gate. Students and adults may purchase tickets in advance from the host schools for $5 until 3 p.m. Friday.
Morton at Newton County
The unbeaten Region 5-3A champion Cougars get a rematch with Morton, 5-5, in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday at Decatur. Newton County outscored the Panthers 21-7 in the second half of the Sept. 14 contest to take a 31-14 win and a 4-2 lead in the series.
Kendrick Windham had 120 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in last week's 34-14 win over Heidelberg as the Cougars improved to 10-0. Colby Amis completed 4-of-7 passes for 88 yards with two touchdown tosses going to Adam Bout.
Leading the Cougar defense were Terrance Patrick with 12 tackles, Josh Avant with nine, and Richard Croft with eight.
Morton defeated Forest 19-17 last week.
McLaurin at Newton
Newton, 8-2, rolled past Scott Central 42-22 last week to wrap up the Division 5-2A championship. Laderrian Blaylock hooked up with wide receiver Bobby Lindsey seven times for 86 yards and three touchdowns. Marquis Poole gained 135 yards on 18 carries with Travaone Evans adding 86 yards on 13 rushes.
For Newton, it's the Tigers' first playoff game since a first-round loss to Ackerman in 1997.
McLaurin was a 42-14 loser to Loyd Star last week to fall to 5-5. McLaurin's five victims were Clarkdale, 3-7; Seminary, 2-8, Madison St. Joseph, 2-7; Pisgah, 2-7, and Hinds AHS, 0-10.
Velma Jackson at Philadelphia
The Tornadoes, 6-4, will be out to snap a two-game losing skid when they host the 8-2 Falcons from Camden in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Philadelphia was 6-2 before closing out the regular season with losses to Newton County (32-15) and Florence (51-20).
The top offensive threats for the Tornadoes are senior running back Kenshay Hunter and junior quarterback Tyler Threadgill and neither has been 100 percent healthy lately.
Velma Jackson whipped winless Raleigh 62-20 last week after taking a 46-6 lead into halftime. Having big games for the Falcons were Chris Green with 174 yards on 10 carries and David Myers with 150 yards on 14 carries.
Kemper County at Wesson
Despite a 2-8 record, the Wildcats made the Class 2A playoffs as the No. 4 team from Region 5-2A, thanks to wins over Clarkdale, 3-7, and Williams-Sullivan, 0-10.
Their reward is an opening-round contest at Division 6-2A champion Wesson against a venomous Cobra team that beat Hinds AHS 42-0 last week with all the points coming in the first half.
Leading Wesson, 9-1, is running back/linebacker Russell Robinson, whose father, Dwight, was a member of LSU's famous Chinese Bandits in the early 1960s.
Union at Puckett
With their first playoff berth in school history already secured, the 6-4 Yellow Jackets travel to Region 3-1A champion Puckett, 9-0, for their regular-season finale.
It'll be a good tuneup for the playoffs to play somebody of that calibre for four quarters.
I believe they'll have to play four quarters to beat us because I think we're a pretty good football team right now."
Union wrapped up a playoff berth with Friday's 39-6 rout of Pisgah. Anthony Johnson had 111 yards on eight carries, with Jody Blount completing 6-of-10 passes for 73 yards and running the ball five times for 55 yards.
Derrick Harris had three rushes for 46 yards and caught three passes for 56 yards.
Union will open Class 1A playoff action on the road next week at either Bogue Chitto, Enterprise-Lincoln, or Dexter as the No. 3 team from Region 3-1A.
Puckett stayed unbeaten with a 33-13 win at Lake last week.
In other North area playoff games this week, Region 2-4A runner-up Louisville (6-4) hosts Oxford (5-5), Region 2-4A champion Noxubee County (9-1) hosts Lafayette County (4-6), Region 6-3A runner-up Forest (3-7) hosts West Lauderdale (6-4), and Region 5-2A runner-up Scott Central (5-5) hosts St. Andrew's (3-7).
In regular-season action, Noxapater (2-8) hosts Edinburg (2-8) on Thursday, Lake (5-5) travels to Pisgah (2-7) on Friday, Nanih Waiya (7-3) goes to Pelahatchie (8-1), Sebastopol (6-4) visits Thomastown (0-10), Leake Academy (4-6) hosts Heritage Academy (1-8), Winston Academy (8-2) hosts Kirk Academy (4-5) for the Academy 2-AA championship, and Central Academy (1-9) hosts Immanuel.
North Area teams that have completed their seasons are: Choctaw Central (5-5), Kemper Academy (3-7), Neshoba Central (2-8), and Newton County Academy (0-10).
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or phone him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.

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